By Star Tribune Staff
The coronavirus may have shut down theaters, museums and orchestras across the Twin Cities and the nation, but you can still get your culture fix. There are lots of virtual offerings, from museum tours to show tunes. One advantage to being at home — sing along as loudly as you like.
The Broadway HD subscription service offers Broadway and off-Broadway shows, many originally filmed for public television. Choices include Tony Award-winners Angela Lansbury in “Sweeney Todd,” Audra McDonald as Billie Holiday in “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill” and recent winners “Kinky Boots” and “Indecent.”
PBS has lots of theater programming if you search it for “Great Performances” and “Live From Lincoln Center,” including a concert tribute to Stephen Sondheim featuring Katrina Lenk, star of the currently-on-hold revival of his “Company,” and Kevin Kline’s Tony-winning role in Noël Coward’s “Present Laughter” (some shows, including the latter, require a membership).
Netflix is just now dipping its toe into theatrical productions, so most of its offerings are recent Broadway shows: “Springsteen on Broadway,” John Mulaney and Nick Kroll in “Oh, Hello,” “Shrek the Musical” and John Leguizamo’s “Latin History for Morons.”
Shows from New York and London are collected at Filmed on Stage, which has information about a variety of services. You will find listed there streaming/home video on Sally Field in Arthur Miller’s “All My Sons” and Imelda Staunton’s titanic “Gypsy.”
Many British productions, including an eye-opening, outdoor “Into the Woods” and Sheridan Smith’s acclaimed performance as Fanny Brice in “Funny Girl,” can be rented only at digitaltheatre.com.
In what could be a model for theaters going forward, Chicago’s Theater Wit is selling tickets to its streamed video performance of “Teenage Dick,” Mike Lew’s new play about a teenager with cerebral palsy vying to become class president.
The Metropolitan Opera is streaming an opera a day from its Live in HD cinema series on its website. The free service, also available on its on-demand app, started Monday and will go for as long as the opera’s coronavirus shutdown lasts. This weekend’s lineup features “Donizetti’s La Fille du Régiment,” conducted by Marco Armiliato and headlined by Natalie Dessay and Juan Diego Flórez (Friday); Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor,” conducted by Marco Armiliato and starring Anna Netrebko, Piotr Beczała and Mariusz Kwiecien (Saturday); and Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, conducted by Valery Gergiev and starring Renée Fleming, Ramón Vargas and Dmitri Hvorostovsky (Sunday).
There is an infinite amount of music offerings online. The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra has a free high-definition online concert library of past performances, including Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony.
The Walker Art Center collection is browsable online by artwork or artist, including Jasper Johns, whose show was on view at the currently closed Walker. If you’d rather watch something, the Walker’s YouTube page has recorded lectures and artist videos.
It’s not the same as standing beside the giant blue rooster in person, or near the Spoonbridge and Cherry, but you can see the more than 40 sculptures at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden without leaving your house.
The Minneapolis Institute of Art, the Twin Cities’ encyclopedic art museum, offers a variety of ways to view the collection virtually, including by gallery.
You can also take a virtual tour of 25 public sculptures on the University of Minnesota campus as well as the current exhibitions at the Minnesota Museum of American Art, including “A Choice of Weapons, Honor and Dignity: The Visions of Gordon Parks and Jamel Shabazz.”
You can browse water-themed art collections at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum. In the American collection, Mary Cassatt’s oil on canvas painting “Françoise in a Round-Backed Chair, Reading,” could mirror what you’re doing right now at home.
Or travel Russian history via imperial porcelain or 100 years of Soviet Union stamps at the Museum of Russian Art.
There’s no replacing the experience of a good, loud rock concert or dance party during a quarantine, especially if you’ve only got puny desk speakers. But many performers who’ve been sidelined have pledged to give it a try over the next few weeks.
Bands and singer/songwriters in the Twin Cities are turning to livestreaming via the internet to keep up appearances. Some of them are as simple as Facebook Live or Instagram Story feeds through the respective social media outlets. Others are trying out more formal, high-quality methods. Look for a list of some of these planned streams in today’s Variety section or at startribune.com/music, or follow the artists themselves for updates. A few resources are also popping up nationally, including StayatHomeFest.com, which is listing some indie artists’ planned online events around the globe.